John Bates Clark: the first American marginalist as a social economist

Author/s Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2018/2
Language English Pages 21 P. 33-53 File size 279 KB
DOI 10.3280/SPE2018-002002
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We analyze the content of four articles by John Bates Clark published between 1878 and 1887, during his Christian Socialist period in order to show that next to the marginalist Clark and beyond the neoclassical principles outlined in The Distribution of Wealth, the whole Clark’s work is a strongly coherent body, deeply rooted in positions less extreme than the ones held by more reformer-minded economists like Richard T. Ely or John R. Commons containing an array of different contributions to political economy displaying a certain originality and coherence, and enrolling in a thematic environment that today would be broadly defined as social economy. In particular, the main ideas emerging from this selection of papers are his organismic idea of society, the role of moral forces in shaping economic activity, and his promotion of profit sharing and cooperation as better regimes for production and distribution with respect to competition.

Keywords: John Bates Clark, American economist, Social economy, Neoclassical

Jel codes: B13, A13

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  2. Clark J.B. (1878). How to Deal with Communism. The New Englander, 37, 145(July): 533-42.
  3. Clark J.B. (1879). The Nature and Progress of True Socialism. The New Englander, 38, 151(July): 565-81.
  4. Clark J.B. (1880). Spiritual Economics. The New Englander, 39, 156(May): 305-18.
  5. Clark J.B. (1881). The Philosophy of Value. The New Englander, 40, 161(July): 457-70.
  6. Clark J.B. (1886). Review of Richard T. Ely’s The Labor Movement in America. The New Englander and Yale Review, 9, 12(December): 1054-5.
  7. Clark J.B. (1887). Christianity and Modern Economics. The New Englander and Yale Review, 47, 208(July): 50-9.
  8. Clark J.B. (1913). The Minimum Wage. The Atlantic Monthly, 3, 112(September): 289-97.
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  14. Gladden W. (1894). Property and Industry Under the Christian Law, Cambridge, Boston Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press.
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  26. Veblen T.B. (1908). On the Nature of Capital: Investment, Intangible Assets, and the Pecuniary Magnate. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 23, 1: 104-36.

  • John Bates Clark's view on the Treaty of Versailles as the origin of both World War II and the idea of a European Union Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini, in HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY 1/2021 pp.131
    DOI: 10.3280/SPE2020-001006

Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini, John Bates Clark: the first American marginalist as a social economist in "HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY" 2/2018, pp 33-53, DOI: 10.3280/SPE2018-002002